Rheumatic fever

Acute rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disease triggered by infection with group A streptococcus bacteria. Recurring or lengthy bouts of rheumatic fever can lead to rheumatic heart disease, causing permanent heart damage.


Acute rheumatic fever is a significant cause of illness in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Our goal is to improve how rheumatic fever is diagnosed and treated.

Our rheumatic fever research

Our rheumatic fever research program aims to:

  • Understand the causes of inflammation and autoimmune attack in acute rheumatic fever.
  • Develop new diagnostic tools and treatments to improve the outlook for people with acute rheumatic fever.

Our research benefits from collaborations with our researchers working on other inflammatory diseases. We also work closely with rheumatic fever researchers at other organisations including:

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